Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September is always gloriously warm and sunny, false I know; but from early recollections of trudging blazer clad home from school during the first weeks back after the summer holidays and this month's weather, it does seem to always be sunny in September. Along with October I  think they are my favourite months, not too cold and the warmth of their autumn sunshine more friendly than the searing dusty July blasts. The light too has that amber quality, the lower sun casting longer shadows, light and shade more defined. These two months end the summer and autumn takes over with all it's associated tasks, projects that direct the garden, keeping it young and vigorous have to be balanced with drifts of leaves and a busy hotel.

The Scarifier
 One routine task that we do every September is to 'scarify' the lawns, the main purpose being to remove any build up of debris, chop off runners so that the grass regrows bushier/denser, remove moss and subdue weeds. As this process creates gaps we tend to scarify in September when the soil is still warm and conditions are good for grass regrowth. We also apply a low nitrogen; but high potassium/iron feed immediately afterwards, this gives steady regrowth; but also makes the soil pH slightly acid which  lawn moss does not like. The whole operation is like potting on the lawn, getting air down to the roots and encouraging deep rooting, helping the lawn out next summer if any dry spells occur, also happy grass competes strongly against weeds and moss. A few 'ducks need to be in a row' to make scarifying a success i.e. we need dry conditions in September (wet means mudbath) and we also need the hotel to have a 'quiet' couple of days during the dry spell (it's machine work so it's noisy). We have been lucky the main areas of lawn have been scarified and fed, and that's why the lawns look less green and a bit 'roughed up'; but this will pay dividends for next year.

Ben blowing the product of scarifying into piles that are destined for the compost heap.
Salvias, Roses, and a Dahlia provide the interest in the border (bed 2) next to the terrace......

Pink Salvia x involucrate 'Bethellii', dark blue/purple Salvia 'Armistadt' and blue Salvia 'Indigo Spires'

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